"For Anton," a title card read as Justin Lin's Star Trek Beyond concluded its world premiere at San Diego Comic-Con. And it received a warm, proper standing ovation from the appreciative crowd. But the event, as a whole, was really for die-hard Star Trek fans from around the globe, and boy, did Paramount put on a show.
As part of the kick off to San Diego Comic-Con 2016, Paramount took over the Embarcadero Marine Park South (site of last year's spectacular Star Wars concert) for the world premiere screening of Star Trek Beyond. The third adventure in the rebooted saga stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Karl Urban, the late Anton Yelchin, Idris Elba and Sofia Boutella. And every one of them was on stage to thank the fans, hold a tender moment of silence for Yelchin, and honor the cast in a lively ceremony hosted by Conan O'Brien. But as before the show got underway, there were laser lights, and literal fireworks.
The highlight of the presentation was the live accompaniment by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, who played along to Michael Giacchino's incredible score during the movie. It added such an audio enhancement to what ends up being an exciting and energetic Star Trek adventure, which finds the team in the middle of their five-year expedition, and wrestling with uncertainty in their missions.
Before the concert, however, as the orchestra warmed up, Paramount programmed an intense and eye-catching laser light show.
And producer J.J. Abrams, who was in the house for the presentation, even snuck in a lens flare for everyone!
Before the visual artists in the park really turned up the heat.
But the celebration wouldn't end with live music by the San Diego Symphony and the laser lights show that beamed us to a galaxy far, far away (shoot, that's the OTHER Star franchise). Soon after the music started, a massive fireworks display started over the left corner of the stage, which overlooked the water that runs along the side of the Embarcadero.
It was a beautiful way to transition into Justin Lin's action-packed movie.
Star Trek Beyond continues the exploration of this new cast, and their expanding journey. After the screening, the debate amongst the CinemaBlend staffers who attended tonight's screening centered around whether or not this was the best of the three new films, as was suggested by our own Eric Eisenberg in his 4-star review. No matter where you fall, I think it's worth seeing when it opens in theaters in July 22.